You walk down the street with arctic winds slapping at your face. Or, you spend the day inside with the heat cranked. Either way, the result is often chapped, dull, and itchy skin.
Familiar? The cold air, low humidity, and dry indoor conditions rob your skin of moisture. As you age, the cold may affect your skin more as it is thinner and produces less oil.
The good news is you can take steps to prevent and soothe your winter skin. With the right skincare products and habits, your complexion will stand up to the weather 🌞.
moisturize damp skin
On a chilly winter day, you want to take a warm shower, get dry, moisturize, and slip into some cozy clothes. But, wait, slow down on the drying part. It turns out moisturizer is most effective when applied to damp skin. The outermost layer of the skin has just been hydrated, so it’s time to seal in that water while providing additional hydration. Dab the skin with your towel and then moisturize the face and body.
Word of advice? Stay in your birthday suit while moisturizing. Otherwise, you might be stingier with the product and not experience lasting relief or prevention.
go easier on the cleansing steps
The dry air can damage your skin barrier: the layers of skin that protect the body from environmental toxins, pathogens, and dehydration. Dryness can also make it all the more susceptible to over-cleansing. For example, soaping your body on the daily can strip the skin of protective oils and leave it feeling tight. To prevent this, try only applying soap to the essential areas– you know, the armpits, down there, and the feet.
When it comes to facial cleansers, opt for a water-based product that’ll remove dirt and pollutants without stripping away all those good oils.
apply sunscreen on the daily
Even on the greyest winter days, the harmful UV light rays pass through the clouds and reach your skin. UV exposure can damage the cells in the skin barrier– reducing intercellular strength and cohesion. As a result, keeping the skin hydrated can grow increasingly difficult. Applying sunscreen every morning, after moisturizer, is a simple way to avoid long-term damage and skin aging. To ensure protection, apply the product at least 30 minutes before you leave the house and reapply every couple of hours if you’re spending the day outdoors.
add occlusive ingredients to your routine
Winter is the time to prioritize your occlusives; these are ingredients that provide a physical barrier to keep moisture in the skin. Think nutrient-rich oils like jojoba, frankincense, and turmeric. For lasting moisture, look for a skincare product that contains a medley of top oils. Apply it after your moisturizer to secure all those super-hydrators.
And, when you’re hunting for occlusives and other hydrating products for the winter, avoid any that contain synthetic fragrances. These fragrances have a high alcohol content that will dry out and irritate the skin.
Dry skin is a common side effect of winter. Unlike others– the short days and frigid air– it’s one you can prevent. With a few quality skincare products and changes of habit, radiant and comfortable skin will no longer be reserved for the milder seasons.